Verdict: An enjoyable and readable action-packed cross-continental story for thriller lovers.
Con Maknazpy leaves his New York home for Northern Ireland thinking he will be helping his dead friend’s mother, but instead finds himself navigating dangerous international intrigues.
There’s lots of intricate plotting in “Blood From A Shadow”, from Irish-American societies to Turkish drug rings, from Vatican bureaucrats to CIA operatives. There’s no shortage of hand-to-hand combat, either, or high caliber weaponry.
Bronx-born Irish-Americans Con and Ferdia returned from Iraq with physical and mental scars. While Con tried to heal in New York, Ferdia went to Turkey as a security contractor and died there when a drug deal went wrong. Now Ferdia’s father has committed suicide and Con is asked to go to Ireland to console and help Ferdia’s mother.
“The fields ringing [Belfast] airport were small, a skewed knot of twisting shapes and shades.” The airport itself “smaller than some bus stations in the United States.”
Con soon gets into trouble with Belfast’s competing ethnic factions and finds himself in the hands of a policeman named Swansea, who is suspected of killing Ferdia’s uncles a decade or so before. From the Belfast police station he moves on to Ferdia’s family in Armagh where he meets Monsignor Artie McCooey, cousin to Ferdia, a strange priest, to say the least of it, and just the first of the many larger than life characters that people the book.
Action follows hard on action, with a nighttime drive through Ireland to Knock Airport and a priest filled flight to Rome. From there it’s on to Istanbul and finally back to New York. It’s a fast ride, but each locale and its denizens are deftly described. While dodging bullets and fighting special-operatives from around the world, Con not only has to figure out what is really going on and who to trust, he also has to decide who holds the correct version of his past. This last plot piece is the least convincing of the story and unfortunately blunts the ending.
Reviewed by Brid Nowlan for IndieReader
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